Keeping a coming out journal can help you separate your fears and thoughts from the reality of the situation. It can also help you develop a plan on how best to come out. Here's how to start your own coming out journal:
Time Required: 30 - 60 minutes a day
- Don't stress about de-stressing. The point of the journal is to help you alleviate some of your stress. Don't over think the process. There is no one best method. Just focus on getting your thoughts down in paper.
- Buy a journal and a comfy pen. Most bookstores, stationary shops and even drug stores carry journals. You'll be spending some quality time with your journal so choose one that you like. Depending on your preference, choose between ruled, blank or grid paper. Also, choose a pen with a comfortable grip. You may be holding it for some time. If you prefer to type on your laptop, create a private locked folder.
- Pick a time and just do it. I know, you don't have time to journal, which only adds to your stress. By journaling you can quell more than one stress point at a time. Take any free time that you would normally be stressing and use it to journal. Multi-task by journaling while eating lunch or right before bed. If you like structure, then pick the same time every day. If not, choose random times as long as you set aside at least 30 minutes.
- Know the rules. The only thing is there are no rules. You can write freestyle, draw, list, whatever it takes to organize the random stress inducing thoughts in your head (dreams, feelings, emotions, hopes, fear and other thoughts about coming out). I personally like to freestyle write, where you start writing and don't stop until time is up.
- Start writing and don't stop. Sure you don't feel like it, you're stressed. But, that's exactly why you should start. Also, your journal isn't an English term paper. Forget about grammar and spelling. Don't let the Elements of Style block your flow. Your thoughts may switch more than one time and you may get off track and write about other random, unrelated events. The point is to get it all out. Your journal may not make any sense, but keeping one will clear your mind of its random thoughts, allowing you to clarify your thoughts about coming out.
- Lock your journal and hide the key. Your journal is for you. You may want to share it later if you think you have a Pulitzer on your hands, but for now keep your journal private. By keeping it closed, what you are doing is creating a safe space for you to develop your thoughts with yourself. This may sound abstract, but keep in mind many of our thoughts about coming out are based on fear and feelings of being unsafe. A private journal allows you to create a safe space where you can say whatever you want without judgment or consequence.
- Write for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Don't worry about grammar or spelling.
- Keep your journal private.
- Don't judge your own thoughts.
What You Need
- Journal or computer
- A good pen or crayon